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  • Title: Richard the Third (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Adrian Kiernander

  • Copyright Adrian Kiernander. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Adrian Kiernander
    Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Life and Death of Richard the Third.
    I for a Clarence weepes, so doth not shee:
    These Babes for Clarence weepe, so do not they.
    Alas! you three, on me threefold distrest:
    1360Power all your teares, I am your sorrowes Nurse,
    And I will pamper it with Lamentation.
    Dor. Comfort deere Mother, God is much displeas'd,
    That you take with vnthankfulnesse his doing.
    In common worldly things, 'tis call'd vngratefull,
    1365With dull vnwillingnesse to repay a debt,
    Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent:
    Much more to be thus opposite with heauen,
    For it requires the Royall debt it lent you.
    Riuers. Madam, bethinke you like a carefull Mother
    1370Of the young Prince your sonne: send straight for him,
    Let him be Crown'd, in him your comfort liues.
    Drowne desperate sorrow in dead Edwards graue,
    And plant your ioyes in liuing Edwards Throne.

    Enter Richard, Buckingham, Derbie, Ha-
    1375stings, and Ratcliffe.

    Rich. Sister haue comfort, all of vs haue cause
    To waile the dimming of our shining Starre:
    But none can helpe our harmes by wayling them.
    Madam, my Mother, I do cry you mercie,
    1380I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee,
    I craue your Blessing.
    Dut. God blesse thee, and put meeknes in thy breast,
    Loue Charity, Obedience, and true Dutie.
    Rich. Amen, and make me die a good old man,
    1385That is the butt-end of a Mothers blessing;
    I maruell that her Grace did leaue it out.
    Buc. You clowdy-Princes, & hart-sorowing-Peeres,
    That beare this heauie mutuall loade of Moane,
    Now cheere each other, in each others Loue:
    1390Though we haue spent our Haruest of this King,
    We are to reape the Haruest of his Sonne.
    The broken rancour of your high-swolne hates,
    But lately splinter'd, knit, and ioyn'd together,
    Must gently be preseru'd, cherisht, and kept:
    1395Me seemeth good, that with some little Traine,
    Forthwith from Ludlow, the young Prince be fet
    Hither to London, to be crown'd our King.
    Riuers. Why with some little Traine,
    My Lord of Buckingham?
    1400Buc. Marrie my Lord, least by a multitude,
    The new-heal'd wound of Malice should breake out,
    Which would be so much the more dangerous,
    By how much the estate is greene, and yet vngouern'd.
    Where euery Horse beares his commanding Reine,
    1405And may direct his course as please himselfe,
    As well the feare of harme, as harme apparant,
    In my opinion, ought to be preuented.
    Rich. I hope the King made peace with all of vs,
    And the compact is firme, and true in me.
    1410Riu. And so in me, and so (I thinke) in all.
    Yet since it is but greene, it should be put
    To no apparant likely-hood of breach,
    Which haply by much company might be vrg'd:
    Therefore I say with Noble Buckingham,
    1415That it is meete so few should fetch the Prince.
    Hast. And so say I.
    Rieh. Then be it so, and go we to determine
    Who they shall be that strait shall poste to London .
    Madam, and you my Sister, will you go
    1420To giue your censures in this businesse. Exeunt.
    Manet Buckingham, and Richard.
    Buc. My Lord, who euer iournies to the Prince,
    For God sake let not vs two stay at home:
    For by the way, Ile sort occasion,
    1425As Index to the story we late talk'd of,
    To part the Queenes proud Kindred from the Prince.
    Rich. My other selfe, my Counsailes Consistory,
    My Oracle, My Prophet, my deere Cosin,
    I, as a childe, will go by thy direction,
    1430Toward London then, for wee'l not stay behinde. Exeunt

    Scena Tertia.

    Enter one Citizen at one doore, and another at
    the other.

    1. Cit. Good morrow Neighbour, whether away so
    2. Cit. I promise you, I scarsely know my selfe:
    Heare you the newes abroad?
    1. Yes, that the King is dead.
    2. Ill newes byrlady, seldome comes the better:
    1440I feare, I feare, 'twill proue a giddy world.
    Enter another Citizen.
    3. Neighbours, God speed.
    1. Giue you good morrow sir.
    3. Doth the newes hold of good king Edwards death?
    14452. I sir, it is too true, God helpe the while.
    3. Then Masters looke to see a troublous world.
    1. No, no, by Gods good grace, his Son shall reigne.
    3. Woe to that Land that's gouern'd by a Childe.
    2. In him there is a hope of Gouernment,
    1450Which in his nonage, counsell vnder him,
    And in his full and ripened yeares, himselfe
    No doubt shall then, and till then gouerne well.
    1. So stood the State, when Henry the sixt
    Was crown'd in Paris, but at nine months old.
    14553. Stood the State so? No, no, good friends, God wot
    For then this Land was famously enrich'd
    With politike graue Counsell; then the King
    Had vertuous Vnkles to protect his Grace.
    1. Why so hath this, both by his Father and Mother.
    14603. Better it were they all came by his Father:
    Or by his Father there were none at all:
    For emulation, who shall now be neerest,
    Will touch vs all too neere, if God preuent not.
    O full of danger is the Duke of Glouster,
    1465And the Queenes Sons, and Brothers, haught and proud:
    And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,
    This sickly Land, might solace as before.
    1. Come, come, we feare the worst: all will be well.
    3. When Clouds are seen, wisemen put on their clokes;
    1470When great leaues fall, then Winter is at hand;
    When the Sun sets, who doth not looke for night?
    Vntimely stormes, makes men expect a Dearth:
    All may be well; but if God sort it so,
    'Tis more then we deserue, or I expect.
    14752. Truly, the hearts of men are full of feare:
    You cannot reason (almost) with a man,
    That lookes not heauily, and full of dread.
    3. Before the dayes of Change, still is it so,
    By a diuine instinct, mens mindes mistrust